Senior Communications Officer - HUHS

Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Cambridge, MASSACHUSETTS


University Administration


Job Summary

Reporting to the Director of Media Relations and Communications in Harvard Public Affairs & Communications (HPAC), with a dotted line to the Director of Communications and Marketing in Harvard University Health Services (HUHS), this position is dedicated to serving the communications and media relations needs of HUHS. The Senior Communications Officer leads and collaborates on the management, development and implementation of media relations and communications strategies and functions to ensure accurate, consistent, and timely information across all communication channels regarding HUHS services, programs and priorities.

Job-Specific Responsibilities

The Senior Communications Officer:

  • Works with across all service areas and business units within HUHS to develop and align communications strategies, goals, work products and outcomes with HUHS and University priorities.
  • Leads media relations on priorities and issues related to HUHS programs and services, including serving as a spokesperson.
  • Develops and collaborates on proactive communications strategies and tactics to promote HUHS programs and services to applicable, sometimes targeted, communities with Harvard University.
  • Works collaboratively with HPAC and HUHS colleagues to manage incoming media inquiries, including in crisis and/or issues management scenarios, ensuring response strategies align with University and HUHS goals and priorities.
  • Manages media engagements for HUHS leaders, including preparing interview briefings, messaging strategies and points, and staffing of interviews.
  • As a member of the boarder University-wide network of public information officers (PIOs), coordinates and collaborates with other School/Unit PIOs on HUHS and related issues and communications priorities.
  • Leads, and/or assists, in the development and maintenance of various communications materials, including content for websites, brochures, newsletters, and any needed templates; creates timetables for implementation and review.
  • Along with the Director (HUHS) implements brand and message consistency across HUHS, including altering existing materials and developing new talking points, materials, etc., as needed to achieve organizational goals.
  • Prepares draft materials, messages and general communications, and ensures/supervises the dissemination of timely information to internal and external audiences.
  • Coordinates/Assists in the coordination of HUHS-wide internal community engagement events.
  • Assists the Director (HUHS) in the management day-to-day communications inquiries and requests for help from across the business units of HUHS, as well as serves as project manager on communications initiatives and ongoing communications functions within HUHS.
  • Represents HUHS in formal and informal University-wide or cross-Unit collaborations, such as communications working groups, task forces, or committees relate.
  • Other duties, as assigned.

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Strong knowledge of web and social media strategies, programs and best practices
  • Five to seven years of professional writing and editorial experience
  • Demonstrated experience writing and editing for web and print publications
Expert in Microsoft Office and related software applications

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Experience with health/public health communications
  • Experience with media relations
  • Familiarity with web technologies
  • Understanding of integrated marketing communications, strategy development and implementation a diverse population
  • Adept at translating complex information into relevant and understandable communications for multiple audiences
  • Ability to work efficiently under deadline on several projects simultaneously with excellent attention to detail
  • Experience leading and facilitating meetings
  • Strong leadership and project management skills
  • High energy level, creative, and collaborative
  • Understanding of ways to manage and communicate sensitive information
  • Some experience in higher education or non-profit communications desirable

Additional Information

Applicants should complete an application and submit a resume and cover letter via the Harvard Careers site.
Recruitment and Hiring During COVID-19:

This position will be based on our campus in Cambridge, MA. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this role will begin remotely. The remote nature of this job is only temporary. Once the University and the supervisor determine that it is appropriate, we look forward to welcoming the new hire to campus. At that time, the employee will be required to move work location to the Cambridge campus as a condition of continued employment. Candidates will be provided a laptop and must have the capability to support telework, including internet connection and phone. 

Harvard Public Affairs and Communications is committed to diversity and fostering an inclusive workplace.  We welcome applicants who bring varied experiences, backgrounds, and expertise to advance the work of the department in service to Harvard’s mission.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran.

Harvard University Benefits Package
Vacation/Sick/Personal/Holidays:   Harvard offers 3 (union roles) - 4 (exempt) weeks paid vacation, a paid holiday break between Christmas and New Year’s Day, 12 paid sick days, 11.5 paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days each year.
Medical/Dental/Vision Benefit:   Harvard offers a variety of excellent medical, dental, and vision plans which all begin on the first day of employment.
Retirement:   University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service.
Tuition Assistance Program:   Competitive tuition assistance program, $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and discounted study options through participating Harvard Graduate Schools.
Transportation:   Harvard offers a 50% discounted MBTA pass as well as parking options to assist employees in their daily commute to campus.
Wellness Options:   Harvard offers programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, massages, nutrition, meditation, and complimentary health services.  There are also fee-based athletic facility memberships available at various locations around the university for employees.

Job Function



USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

322058 Media/Communica Sr Speclst


Harvard Public Affairs and Communications


Harvard Public Affairs and Communications


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening

Education, Identity

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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